JAMES NORMAN || WBAI RADIO || MAY 13, 1996
James Norman was featured on a "Hidden Agenda" broadcast, hosted
by Gary Null, on WBAI Radio in New York City on May 13, 1996.
The following is an abbreviated transcript of that interview:
We will interview at this point a man named James Norman.
James Norman is a journalist. He's been a journalist for many
years. He was senior editor, specializing in stories about major
companies, for Forbes magazine [and] the Auckland Star in
Auckland, New Zealand. Also Business Week: he was a senior
writer for them. And he was also bureau manager in Houston,
Texas, bureau manager in Minneapolis, and senior writer in
Stanford, Connecticut. He worked for the Oakland Press, the Ann
Arbor News, and the Daily Telegram.
He came across a story. And it's a story that won't go away.
And we've decided to pursue it.
But a little background on this: Normally, when I do a "Hidden
Agenda" series, as I just did with Horowitz -- he had to send me
hundreds and hundreds of documents. Because the statements he
was making, for most people would be considered too extreme. And
I can assure you that virtually all the documents, from official
and government sources, are there. Or he wouldn't have got on
And similarly, when I first became aware of the story of James
Norman, it was about a year ago. And many people said, "Why
don't you have James Norman on the show?"
So, I contacted James Norman, went over his information. But
because it's not a single story -- it is a story with so many
tentacles, it's like an octopus. And I thought, "Well, some of
these stories are plausible. Some are not." And I said, "James,
you're going to have to supply me with documentation." And I
said, "Even with the best of intents, you may have been conned by
some people." (Where you take a good part of the story, that you
can hold your own on, and next thing you know is, they've
discredited you on another; they've planted some misinformation.)
So anyhow, back and forth, over a long period of time, I've met
with James Norman; he supplied me with documents. And finally,
he supplied me with one of his primary sources. I spent some
time interviewing this primary source.
And so I just want our audience to know that I am satisfied that
many of the statements that you're about to hear *can* be
It is a rather infuriating cluster of stories, because it's not
the kind of thing there is readily [available] documented
evidence for. But it's the kind of thing where we've talked to
an awful lot of people and had it corroborated verbally. And
since this thing broke about a year ago, there's been
consistently mounting bits and pieces of corroborative evidence
that are cropping up. And unfortunately, the story has been
rather predictive of events.
The way it all started: I didn't set out to do some big
investigative piece; I was just doing a story on an oil company
bankruptcy in Connecticut. But it got into looking at various
covert arms financing vehicles used by the government or people
connected with it. And that got into the murky realm of computer
software, and particularly to bank spying activities by our
government. I stumbled onto what actually was a major effort
that our country has had underway for about a dozen years to
surveil foreign wire transfer traffic. (We've got people coming
out of the woodwork now from the early Reagan years who were
directly involved in this program; people from the National
Security Council who helped set it up, and it's still ongoing.)
What that led to, quite inadvertantly, was a connection to the
Vince Foster case -- which a number of journalists have continued
to follow. Because there's just so many unresolved issues.
There's so many questions about the circumstances of Foster's
Here's what we found out: at the time of his death, in July
1993, Vince Foster, who was a Deputy White House Counsel in the
Clinton administration, was under some kind of investigation,
surveillance, in connection with a counterintelligence
investigation. He was suspected of selling secrets to a foreign
government. What we were able to determine was, he had been tied
in for many years on the periphery of this bank spying effort by
our National Security Agency. He had been, for many years,
connected as sort of a behind-the-scenes go-between, between the
National Security Agency and a company in Little Rock, Arkansas
-- a rather curious, secretive, bank data processing company
called Systematics. (It's now changed its name to AllTel.
They're a wholly-owned subsidiary of AllTel Corporation, the
telephone utility in Arkansas.)
But Foster, while he was at the Rose Law Firm, was in effect a
sort of "handler" for that company. And that would conceivably
have given him access to various sensitive kinds of computer code
secrets, encryption stuff, [and] other insight into intelligence
activities by our government.
The way that Foster came under suspicion, according to sources
that I've dealt with, was that he himself had a Swiss bank
account [at] a former affiliate of the Banca Ambrosiana.
(The Banca Ambrosiana had been a key target of "computer spooks"
of our intelligence community who were very curious about the
activities of that bank. It was closely tied to the Vatican Bank
and was suspected of money laundering and other illicit money
activities. In fact, when it collapsed there was a great cloud
of secrecy about it. The head of the bank was found hanging from
Blackfriars Bridge in London. The whole thing was surrounded
Apparently, from surveilling accounts within the bank, by
"hacking" their way into that bank, they had come across many,
many, many accounts: coded, numbered, off-shore accounts,
belonging to hundreds of high-level government officials -- U.S.
government officials, and other governments.
And Foster was one of these people who they came across. He was
suspected of selling secrets to the state of Israel because of
the $2.73 million that was apparently in this account.
Again: using this wire transfer tracking technology that our
government had developed, they had been able to track the money,
apparently, back to Israeli sources. And that was what was the
beginning of this counterintelligence investigation.
To sell state secrets on the side: that's called "espionage".
And that's what we're talking about here, in terms of the nature
of the investigation.
We were able to determine that there were various entities of the
government, various intelligence agencies, that were taking part
in this surveillance.
One of the key sources on this -- which we were able to
corroborate various things he said with anywhere from half a
dozen, to a dozen, to a couple of dozen sources -- is a fellow
who is a retired CIA contractor by the name of Charles Hayes. He
lives in Kentucky now. He is part of a small group of retired
intelligence community guys who were associated with something
that was called "Division D" -- which is actually mentioned in
Bob Woodward's book, *Veil*. This group's job, in the
government, had been to break into foreign computer systems,
either physically or electronically.
They [now] have access to what are called "back door", coded
entryways into the software used in many foreign banks. Which
allows them to circumvent the normal security systems around bank
databanks. Which has allowed them, apparently, to surveil these
We're not gonna have time to finish this today. I want you to
come back on the show tomorrow, so we can do a "part 2".
I want our audience to know that this is just the *beginning* of
his story. There are a lot of "cast of characters", including
Hillary Clinton. And it's strong stuff. It seems almost
impossible, but the documentation is there for a lot of this.
I'm Gary Null. And if you'd like a copy of this show, just call
212-799-1246 and ask for the program with James Norman. We'll be
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
If you would like to know more about this explosive story, CN
recommends the Orlin Grabbe material, currently archived at
ftp.shout.net in subdirectory pub/users/bigred/og -- or use the
http address, https://www.europa.com/~johnlf/cn.html to read it.